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Wired: Software Rights Stripped in VA

Feb 20, 2000, 15:03 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Declan McCullagh)

"On Monday the Virginia House of Delegates approved a controversial 350-page bill called the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act. The knottily-named piece of legislation is being considered in other states, and has the backing of Microsoft and other software companies."

"Software has always been licensed, not bought, from companies, but UCITA takes the idea a step further. It would deprive consumers of rights they have under current law, such as the ability to resell used software."

"'UCITA has another indirect consequence that would hamstring free software development in the long term -- it gives proprietary software developers the power to prohibit reverse engineering,' says Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation. 'This would make it easy for them to establish secret file formats and protocols, which there would be no lawful way for us to figure out.'"

Complete story.

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